UNMOVIC on Iraqi Procurement

A little while back, I “blogged about”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/2273/unmovic-compendium-and-lessons-learned UNMOVIC’s lessons-learned compendium published a few years ago.

Well, “Chapter VI”:http://www.un.org/depts/unmovic/new/documents/compendium/Chapter_VI.pdf of the document, which describes Iraq’s WMD procurement activities, contains some interesting bits, including a concise description of the methods Iraq used to circumvent UN sanctions:

bq.. a. Iraq had established and now expanded greatly a *sophisticated procurement network consisting of a complex chain of brokers, intermediaries, bank accounts and transportation companies that enabled it, if necessary, to procure items using false enduser certificates issued for third parties*;

b. After experiencing increasing problems in importing technology and raw materials from states that had implemented appropriate licensing systems, *Iraq largely switched its procurement efforts to companies or subsidiaries that operated in countries where such measures had not yet been developed, introduced or fully implemented*;

c. Mindful of the difficulties it had experienced in the acquisition of dual-use equipment and materials, and the likelihood that such difficulties would increase in the future, *Iraq attempted to procure some items in excessive quantities in order to secure and meet possible needs in the future*.

d. To circumvent technology transfer controls, *Iraq attempted to purchase relevant companies* (and their technical assets) and so gain access to the dual-use technology it needed.

p. It adds that

bq. Consequently, in order to maintain the acquisition of dual-use goods, *Iraq tried to adjust its procurement network to meet the emerging international trade norms.* These changes involved the use of legitimate commercial organisations in Iraq…as front companies for the procurement of dual-use items and materials.

Some of this might sound familiar.

Lastly, I’ll add this portion without comment:

bq. In the early 1980s, Iraq contracted a foreign company to perform a number of static field tests, outside Iraq, of conventional artillery shells and rocket warheads *filled with materials to simulate chemical weapons.* The performance characteristics such as the nature and extent of dispersion of the liquid payload were evaluated, as were the optimal parameters such as the burster tube length and charge strength. *After the tests had confirmed the suitability of such shells and warheads, Iraq procured assemblies for 50,000 artillery projectiles and 25,000 rockets from this company* for its CW programme.

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